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1600 Campus Court
Abilene, TX 79699
p. 325-674-2000
w. www.acu.edu

Abilene Christian University

Abilene Christian University Rating: 3.5/5 (4 votes)

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Abilene Christian University (ACU) is a private Christian university in Abilene, Texas. The university was founded as Childers Classical Institute in 1906 and currently resides on 250-acre campus northeast of the city.

ACU is strongly affiliated with Churches of Christ and provides a diverse range of undergraduate programs from the sciences, to journalism, to theology with 125 areas of study. Students can obtain a graduate degree by attending classes on campus or by enrolling for online classes to help balance school, work, and family.

The following colleges and schools are housed within the University complex:

  • College of Arts & Sciences
  • College of Biblical Studies
  • College of Business Administration
  • College of Education and Human Services
  • Graduate School
  • Graduate School of Theology
  • Honors College
  • School of Information Technology & Computing
  • School of Social Work
  • School of Nursing

Along with completing required coursework for their chosen field, students are required to attend daily chapel and enroll in Bible courses. In keeping with the Christian environment established by ACU, all employees of the university are Christians and faculty takes an interest in students’ lives and studies


The university is organized into seven distinct colleges where there are more than a hundred majors for undergraduates to choose from. The university is particularly well known for its strengths in theological and church related fields, including Christian ministry, worship ministry, youth and family ministry, missions, and vocational ministry. Other notable strengths include broad-based teacher training programs and agriculture programs, particularly animal science.

ACU also has pre-medical/pre-dental and pre-veterinary programs, that are non-majors. These help interested students prepare for acceptance into medical and other health related schools by providing advising, mentorships, and test preparation skills.

Most Popular Fields of Study

Unique Programs

In past years, ACU has facilitated all incoming first-year students an iPod Touch and iPhone to be used for academic purposes, earning the university an “Innovator of the Year” award from the magazine Campus Technology.


Admissions at ACU are competitive. The admissions office considers not just grades and standardized test scores, but volunteer, community, and church work in making their decisions. The essay portion of the admissions application is also important; the university offers a tutorial to preparing this essay on their website.

Financial Aid

In addition to the wide range of state and federal financial aid options available to college and university students in Texas, ACU offers several of their own need- and merit-based scholarships.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 693rd for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Texas.


There are no fraternities or sororities, instead the university sponsors several social clubs to organize students in providing service, participating in intramural sports, and competing in the Sing Song. Men’s clubs include Pi Kappa, Trojans, Sub T-16, Pi Kappa, Gamma Sigma Phi, Galaxy, and Frater Sodalis. Women’s clubs include Sigma theta Chi, Ko Jo Kai, GATA, Delta Theta, and Alpha Kai Omega. The student newspaper is The Optimist. ACU also produces and a literary arts magazine, The Shinnery Review. KACU-FM, an NPR station, is run from the ACU campus.

Religious Life

Daily chapel attendance is required for all students, regardless of their faith heritage or peronal beliefs. Students who fail to attend chapels are subject to suspension. Chapel includes a 30 minute praise and worship period.

Residential Life

Students are required to live on-campus during their freshman and sophomore years unless they are living with parents who are Abilene residents, are over 21 years of age, or are legally married and residing with a spouse. Housing is also available to upperclassmen and graduate students. Residences for freshmen and sophomore consist of traditional residence halls and are separated by gender. Upperclassmen and graduate students may choose to live in university-owned apartments.

Dining on Campus

In addition to traditional, all-you-can eat dining halls, the ACU campus offers a variety of convenient dining options, including Starbucks, Quiznos, Pizza Hut, Chick-fil-A, and more.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The Wildcats participate in NCAA Division II and the Lone Star Conference. Men’s sports include baseball, cross country, football, basketball, golf, and tennis. Women’s sports include softball, track and field, basketball, soccer, tennis, and volleyball. The school is particularly well-known for their track and field program, which has produced more than 20 Olympic athletes.


ACU has several of their own traditions to make the campus experience unique. These include:

  • A Welcome Week to introduce new students to the school with social activities, informational fairs, and orientations.
  • Sing Song, a large cappella competition held every February.
  • In September, ACU sponsors the Summit, a series of biblically-themed lectures and workshops.
  • A large portion of the student body spends Spring Break in missionary and community service programs.

Local Community

The city of Abilene offers a wide range of cultural and extracurricular educational attractions for students, such as the City of Abilene Zoological Gardens, The Grace Museum, Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra, Classical Chorus of Abilene, and National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature. Community Service organizations and opportunities include The Grady McWhiney Foundation, United Way of Abilene, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Community Foundation of Abilene.

A number of other colleges and universities are located in Abilene, including Cisco College, Hardin-Simmons University, McMurry University, Texas State Technical College, and Texas Tech College of Engineering. Given the large student population of the town, there are a large number of amenities geared to student needs, including restaurants, music venues, bars, coffee shops, and more.


Alumni include recent Olympic athletes Early Young, Billy Olson, Bobby Morrow, and James Browne, in addition to dozens of former Olympians. Other alumni include:

  • Continental Airlines CEO Gordon Bethune
  • Basketball coach Bill Blakeley
  • Film production designer Nelson Coates
  • Professional boxer Randall “Tex” Cobb
  • Film producer Bonnie Curtis
  • KTVT news anchor Jody Dean
  • Musician Holly Dunn
  • Actress Annika Johansson
  • Pulitzer Prize winner David Leeson
  • Christian author Mac Lucado
  • Singer/songwriter T.J. McCloud
  • Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley
  • Southern Methodist University President R. Gerald Turner


ACU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Association of Theological Schools, and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The school is also a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.

Information Summary

Ranks 12th in Texas and 357th overall
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Campus Crime Statistics

Ranks 0th in Texas and 517th overall on StateUniversity.com‘s Safe School Index
  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault N/A N/A
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape N/A N/A
Robbery N/A N/A
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 15 0.33
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft 1 0.02
Arrest N/A N/A

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 270 0.23
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 5 0.00
Forcible Rape 33 0.03
Robbery 120 0.10
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 1,119 0.94
Larceny 3,093 2.59
Vehicle theft 172 0.14

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Master's Colleges and Universities (larger programs)
UndergraduateProfessions plus arts & sciences, some graduate coexistence
GraduatePostbaccalaureate comprehensive
Undergraduate PopulationFull-time four-year, selective, lower transfer-in
EnrollmentHigh undergraduate
Size & SettingMedium four-year, primarily residential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringDoctoral degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationChurches of Christ
Congressional District4819

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 561st for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $28,350 $28,350 $28,350
FT Undergraduate Required Fees N/A N/A N/A
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $950 $950 $950
FT Graduate Tuition $17,100 $17,100 $17,100
FT Graduate Required Fees N/A N/A N/A
PT Graduate per Credit Hour $950 $950 $950
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $41,800 $41,800 $41,800
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $41,800 $41,800 $41,800
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $33,000 $33,000 $33,000

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $25,270 $26,770 $25,270 $26,770 $25,270 $26,770
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,250 $1,100
On-Campus – Room & Board $8,316 $8,650
On-Campus – Other Expenses $3,414 $3,380
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $8,316 $8,650
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $3,414 $3,380
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $3,414 $3,380

Admission Details

Effective as of 2014-09-19
Application Fee RequiredN/A
Undergraduate Application Fee$50
Graduate Application Fee$50
First Professional Application FeeN/A
Applicants 10,188 (4,129 male / 6,059 female)
Admitted 4,986 (1,836 male / 3,150 female)
Admission rate 49%
First-time Enrollment 1,030 (401 male / 629 female)
FT Enrollment 1,026 (398 male / 628 female)
PT Enrollment 4 (3 male / 1 female)
Total Enrollment4,461

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record  /   / 
College Prep. Completion
Formal competency demo
Admission test scores
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NCAA
NCAA Football Conference Southland Conference
NCAA Basketball Conference Southland Conference
NCAA Baseball Conference Southland Conference
NCAA Track & Field Conference Southland Conference

ACT Test Admission

329th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting ACT results 50%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 21 / 27
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 21 / 27
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 21 / 27

SAT Test Admission

507th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting SAT results 50%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 470 / 580
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 490 / 600
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 960 / 1180

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm Capacity1,856
Meals per WeekN/A
Room Fee$3,980
Board Fee$4,820

Student Completion / Graduation Demographics

Total 59 103 73 9 2 790 6 1,063
Accounting 19 1 2 60 84
Agribusiness/Agricultural Business Operations 3 3
Animal Sciences, General 4 4
Architecture and Related Services, Other 1 1 3
Art Teacher Education
Bible/Biblical Studies 1 2 3
Biochemistry 1 2 18 21
Biology Teacher Education
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 1 1 1 19 22
Business Administration and Management, General 9 2 3 35 50
Chemistry, General 2 2
Clinical Psychology 2 5 7
Computer Science 1 7 9
Counseling Psychology 1 6 7
Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration 2 1 7 10
Dietetics/Dietitian 1 10 11
Digital Communication and Media/Multimedia 2 6 8
Divinity/Ministry 8 8
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General 1 8 9
Education, General 2 1 17 1 21
Educational Administration and Supervision, Other
Educational Leadership and Administration, General 4 1 28 1 34
Elementary Education and Teaching 1 27 28
Engineering Physics/Applied Physics
Engineering Science
English Language and Literature, General 1 24 25
English/Language Arts Teacher Education 3 3
Environmental Science 1 7 8
Family Practice Nurse/Nursing 1 1
Finance, General 6 1 1 15 24
Fine/Studio Arts, General 1 15 17
Gerontology 1 10 11
Graphic Design
Health and Physical Education/Fitness, General 1 1 2
Health/Medical Preparatory Programs, Other
Higher Education/Higher Education Administration 2 7 2 9 1 21
History Teacher Education 1 1
History, General 9 10
Human Development and Family Studies, General 1 10 1 35 48
Information Resources Management 1 2 3 6
Information Technology 2 2 8 12
Interior Design 1 4 6
International/Global Studies 2 2
Journalism 1 7 8
Junior High/Intermediate/Middle School Education and Teaching 2 2
Keyboard Instruments
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies 3 4
Management Information Systems, General
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 1 2 3 18 24
Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling 1 2 1 1 9 14
Mathematics Teacher Education 1 1 8 10
Mathematics, General 1 2 3
Missions/Missionary Studies and Missiology 1 2 3
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other 2 14 7 1 42 3 69
Music Teacher Education 6 6
Music, General 1 3 4
Nursing Administration
Pastoral Counseling and Specialized Ministries, Other 2 1 16 19
Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution 3 17 11 4 54 90
Physical Education Teaching and Coaching 4 4
Physics, General 2 2
Political Science and Government, General 1 2 7 12
Psychology, General 5 4 28 39
Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication, Other 1 1 15 17
Public Relations/Image Management 1 1
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 1 2 21 25
School Psychology 5 5
Science Teacher Education/General Science Teacher Education 1 1
Secondary Education and Teaching 3 3
Social Sciences, Other
Social Studies Teacher Education 1 4 5
Social Work 3 5 2 1 21 32
Sociology 2 7 9
Spanish Language Teacher Education 2 1 3
Spanish Language and Literature 1 2
Special Education and Teaching, General 1 4 6
Speech Communication and Rhetoric 4 2 18 24
Speech-Language Pathology/Pathologist 2 6 1 29 38
Sport and Fitness Administration/Management 3 3 17 25
Superintendency and Educational System Administration 3 2 5
Theology and Religious Vocations, Other 2 2
Voice and Opera 1 1
Youth Ministry 5 5

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 1663rd for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $66,095 ($70,086 male / $56,740 female)
Number of FT Faculty 247 (167 male / 80 female)
Number of PT Faculty 270
FT Faculty Ratio 0.9 : 1
Total Benefits $5,455,966

Justine Ventimiglia+

Justine Ventimiglia graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Currently residing in a 1950’s modest ranch in Metro Detroit, she enjoys researching and writing about Mid Century Modern furniture and decor as she works on restoring her home and documenting the process.

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